PM deftly replies to questions during 75-minute press meet | india | Hindustan Times
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PM deftly replies to questions during 75-minute press meet

india Updated: May 24, 2010 16:26 IST

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From diplomatic challenges to household issues, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today appeared unflustered as he fielded a range of questions from the national press corps.

The 77-year-old leader deftly replied to a query on his retirement. He took a conspicuous pause before declaring that the question of he demitting office prematurely did not arise till the tasks before him were completed.

Singh was at ease while dealing with a question on whether he will make way for Rahul Gandhi for prime ministership.

"...I will be very happy to make place for anybody the Congress party decides," he said during his 75-minute press conference, the first in his second term in office.

There was also a minor slip up by him when he said India's population was a billion dollar strong but was quick to correct himself.

The lighter side of the Prime Minister came to the fore when he tackled a query on whose advise he valued more -- his wife Gursharan Kaur's or that of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

"Both of them deal with different subjects and I welcome advice from both," he said sending the packed Plenary Hall of Vigyan Bhawan into peals of laughter.

Singh replied to a number of questions on the functioning of his cabinet colleagues and their comments on other ministries.

"It would not be proper for me to discuss these issues in broad daylight," the Prime Minister said prompting a scribe to quip that lights be turned off.